28 October 2011

Architects Propose Buildings With Bird Hazards

Architects for proposed Omaha buildings continue to present designs with features known to be hazardous to migratory birds. The latest three concepts each future glass extensive exteriors which are not bird-safe and are known to cause repeated bird deaths.

The three proposals just offered to the city of Omaha would be the alternatives for a site on the north edge of downtown, north and westward from 10th and Capitol Avenue. The development would include several buildings on a multi-block site.

The following images depict the primary buildings for the mixed-use development. The primary feature which is a known bird hazard is the extensive glass facade among landscaping plantings. Interior lighting which is not screened will also be problematic.

Buckingham Company

This rendering appears to also feature "green roofs" and tree plantings above street level, which would create multiple stories of hazards. Birds might also be drawn in the "center corridor" and courtyard due to the presence of vegetation, and then be confused by the glass and reflections, and meet their demise when striking the glass while trying to escape.

Texus Team (Noddle Company)

Extensive lower-level glass provides an open view from tree to tree. In similar situations in many places, when birds try to fly from one plant to the next, the intervening glass is struck. The Noddle Company developed Aksarben Village, where some of the buildings there are known to cause bird strike deaths.

Shamrock Development Inc.

Also features extensive glass and associated landscaping. The height of the hotel structure would contribute to it being dangerous for migratory birds.

There are alternatives to the design components which are not bird safe, and the project developers should be required to submit a plan which incorporates the many safer options available.

Construction may possibly be completed in 2014, depending upon the proposal selected. Whichever one is selected, it will be the cause of bird deaths.

The death of a bird due to incidental taking (i.e., hitting the glass of a building), would be a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.